Private Equity


The Economist has a survey of private equity this week(only one of the articles is free). It raises many of the points that a friend of mine who works for one such firm has been making for a couple of years now. Here's an excerpt, but read the whole thing(my friend even gets comments comparing him to the portrail in movies):

Will tougher competition and increasingly demanding investors cause the industry to consolidate? Sir Ronald Cohen of Apax Partners thinks that over the next decade the private-equity industry will polarise. At one end, a few big global industry leaders will emerge��maybe three or four dominant brands with high returns�; at the other, small specialist firms will thrive. In the middle, however, many firms will find it hard to compete. His prediction is plausible, and the losers may include some famous names. Forstmann Little has already said that it will close in 2006. It made some awful telecoms investments during the bubble and has failed to resolve its succession problem.


It's about hedge funds, but you might find this chart interesting (est. number of funds 2004: 8,000).

Mr Schwarzman must be quite busy.

Yeah, there are a finite number of deals private equity of the LBO type can do or at least that can be done at prices which could provide the returns needed to justify their fees. Even during the bear market, my friend was complaining about valuations. This didn't even take into account the tightness of the credit markets at the time.

The one point about the article which surprised me was that many firms don't beat the indexes. I guess there may be washout in the industry or maybe they'll turn into hybrids as the article suggests.


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This page contains a single entry by Bob published on November 29, 2004 7:18 PM.

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